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Sat Nov 29, 2014

As a Product Marketing Manager, my key objective – my ‘raison d’être’, if you will – is to get excited about my products. A good product marketer should be able to muster enthusiasm about anything. I’ve managed it in the past with cars, bedding, curtains and even hearing aids! So, when I was offered the position here, my initial reaction was, “Ventilation? Really? How does one get passionate about air?”

My first few weeks were a challenge to say the least. Everybody seemed to be speaking in tongues. It was all ‘semi-rigid’ this, ‘bypass’ that and ‘enthalpy’ the other! So far, so confusing….

Then I started to notice other phrases slipping into meetings and conversations. Phrases such as ‘heat recovery’, ‘fuel poverty’, ‘indoor air quality’, ‘occupant comfort’ and the like. Suddenly, we weren’t just talking about the little white whirry things in the corner of your bathroom. Suddenly, we were looking at ways to help people with their energy bills. Help them with their carbon footprint. Help them to feel comfortable in their own homes. Help them if they have allergies or respiratory issues such as asthma. This was my equivalent to a ‘Eureka’ moment. Ventilation matters!

Another term that grabbed my attention was ‘Passive House’ (or, to credit its German origins, Passivhaus).  I was tasked with writing a brochure about our range of Passive House certified heat recovery units. Clueless, I headed for my fall-back position - research, research, research.

I was helped massively by some fantastic websites that are dedicated to this uber-efficient standard of building. I have to admit to being initially surprised by the amount of thought and work that goes into one of these projects. Every screw, every Watt, every degree of temperature is calculated and accounted for – and the results are astounding!

One of the major factors to the success of any Passive House dwelling is the efficiency of the heat recovery system at the heart of it. The fact that we had an entire range of MVHRs that were up to this stringent task filled me with a sudden sense of pride (maybe somebody could buy me a life for Christmas!).

So now, as I write my blog from the ‘comfort’ of my flat in a Victorian house conversion - my flat that leaks like a sieve, has more air changes per hour than a bus shelter and has a certified energy efficiency rating of E – I am settling in to watch my favourite show, Grand Designs and dream of the day that I will build my own home. Only today my dream has changed slightly. A year of working with Zehnder has convinced me that my dream home will be of the ‘Passive’ variety.

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Zehnder Group UK will attend the 2016 UK Passivhaus Conference and Expo  at The Business Design Centre, London, on 25th October.

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